On Thursday 25th July, Sir David took part in questions to the Leader of the House of Commons. He used the opportunity to raise the issue of the financial support that is made available to blind and partially sighted people.
Sir David said “I congratulate my Right Honourable Friend on his appointment and thank his predecessor for today’s summer adjournment debate. I pay tribute to the retiring Serjeant-at-arms, the Speaker’s Chaplain and the retiring Clerk but would my Right Honourable Friend find time for a debate today on benefits paid to people without sight. Mrs Jill Allen-King has pointed an anomaly whereby people born before 8th April 1948 who were on the standard rate of the Disability Living Allowance are now not entitled to the lower rate of the attendance allowance when they retire.”
In response, the Leader of the House answered “I thank my Honourable Friend for his question and he reminds me to pay tribute too to the retiring Serjeant-at-arms who is a very distinguished figure. He is also absolutely right to raise the matter that he does. Blind and severely visually impared people clearly face significant challenges living independent lives. Up until April 2011, Disability Living Allowance, DLA, failed to reflect those challenges. The Government has put in place changes to rectify this and I would encourage my Honourable friend to seek an Adjournment Debate to raise this particular concern with the appropriate Minister. But I will also pass on his concern after today’s proceedings.”